I have been blessed to have made many friends along the road of life. Over these years I have learned much from my friends and hopefully they have learned from me. Friends come and go out of our lives for various reasons. I have come to accept this is the nature of all things. Change is a part of life and growth. Hopefully my friends have come to understand that I wish the best for them and have their best interest at heart. Hopefully they also understand when the inevitable disagreement arises discussion and compassion go a long way in healing any rift. My friends understand that I will provide respect expecting the same in return. Friendship is a bond that only gains strength through understanding and empathy. Anything can be said in a context of love and respect. When respect is lost and disagreement takes the form of anger, yelling and projections, it may be time to step away. We cannot change the way others relate. We can only be responsible for ourselves. As mature adults we also understand when something is said out of anger, it is difficult if not impossible to take back. We need to understand and accept responsibility for the power of our words. When anger takes control, our faces contort and venom spews from our twisted lips we need to point the finger right where it belongs, at ourselves.
It takes many of us quite a while to form and maintain healthy boundaries when it comes to relationships. We may allow others to project their mental or physical issues onto our being without realizing we have done so. We may think that in loving another it is necessary to take on their pain or problems as if they were our own. We all want healthy relationships but unfortunately there are many in our world that are not mentally healthy. I am still learning to protect myself as we all must do in this crazy chaotic world. I have also learned that I can no longer entertain superficial relationships. As caring individuals we must care for ourselves as well as others but we must draw the line and refuse disrespect and demand civil discourse from those who claim to care.